I’m currently reading the book How Google Works by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg. Despite the fact that I have not read the entire book yet, I’m fascinated by the concept of “Smart Creatives” introduced by Eric and jonathan in the book and described as one of the foundational elements that makes Google who they are. The book contains a detailed description of what a smart creative is and why we (I consider myself one) are the future of the 21st Century Workforce.
I tried to find a consolidated list of characteristics of a Smart Creative but everything points back to the book but not a simple list. so I decided to take action and build one.
I will still recommend you to read the entire book. The Smart Creative is a fantastic read in the introduction section, but not the only one. If you would like to know about Smart Creatives only, you can check a sample of the book in the book’s website. With that said, I extracted and listed the Smart Creative characteristics in a list format. Keep it as a source of knowledge when you are in a hiring process for two things: To identify a smart creative when you see it and to assess your current culture if it is attractive for smart creatives.
Please note that the content I’m about to list below is the exact content of the Book Sample. No content has been updated. I’ve only separated the skills and attributes of smart creatives into a list. I’m not claiming any intellectual property of the content. Full credit is associated with Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg. Enjoy
From the introduction of How Google Works by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg:
When we contrast the traditional knowledge worker with the engineers and other talented people who have surrounded us at Google over the past decade+, we see that our Google peers represent a quite different type of employee:
They are a new kind of animal, a type we call a “smart creative,” They are the key to achieving success in the Internet Century. The primary objective of any business today must be to increase the speed of the product development process and the quality of its output. Since the industrial revolution, operating processes have been biased toward lowering risk and avoiding mistakes. These processes, and the overall management approach from which they were derived, result in environments that stifle smart creatives. Now, though, the defining characteristic of today’s successful companies is the ability to continually deliver great products. And the only way to do that is to attract smart creatives and create an environment where they can succeed at scale.
And who, exactly, is this smart creative?
Those are the fundamentals
This is why they can have such an impact. It is also why they are uniquely difficult to manage, especially under old models, because no matter how hard you try, you can’t tell people like that how to think. If you can’t tell someone how to think, then you have to learn to manage the environment where they think. And make it a place where they want to come every day.
If you are in the consulting business and you are interested in getting the attention of current and prospect clients, Snapchat is your tool.
In this article I will discuss some of the great features offered by Snapchat and how they can be used by consultants. But before even getting into that, let me answer the most important question of all: Why Snapchat?
In the social media discussion, typically the conversation revolves around three main platforms: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Other platforms worth mentioning include: Youtube, Tumblr (blogging in general), Vine, Meerkat, just to name a few). Snapchat was released around 4 years ago. However, it has emerged as the new contender since the last year. All these tools are going after the most important, and scarce, element you can give them: Your Attention. In this day and age, getting 30 seconds of your attention, considering the overwhelming amount of information out there, is gold.
Snapchat initial release was limited in features and functionality. It was around this time that I tested the tool for a bit and then completely left it out of my world. It was thanks to Gary Vaynerchuk, one of the smartest people on the planet regarding social media and attention, that started talking about the evolution of Snapchat. I got really curious. I dusted off the little ghost with the yellow background and gave it a second chance. I was impressed. Snapchat evolved into a more serious tool that offers you a very clever set of features including:
In its infancy, Snapchat was a platform for teenagers (ages 13–17) and was considered by many experts as the last place on earth to promote content or get noticed. However, this demographic has changed and continues changing rapidly. According to Snapchat website, the current demographic has extended from 13–17 to 13–34. Wow! that is impressive. In fact, it is showing similar patterns seen on Facebook and Instagram but at a faster rate. Currently 60% of smartphone users in the U.S. are using Snapchat. Now that is a population that you can’t have the luxury to ignore.
I have been a keen social media platform user in the past. Having said that, I’ve never had a chance to get the full benefit of being early in a social media platform. What I heard from Gary Vaynerchuk and other experts are the same patterns that I’ve heard before for Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram before their exponential growth. I was not willing to let the opportunity pass, so I just immersed myself in the tool.
In Summary, I now see the value of Snapchat and its potential. I think is time for you and me to build a presence in the platform. The timing is perfect so I (and so can you) can get into this before the marketers do, which is a nice way to say that marketer will overload the tool with content (although the marketing platform for Snapchat is very slick, it is called 3V). There are many industries that will be disrupted by this tool and I strongly believe that the consulting space, or the professional services industry as a whole, can benefit from this platform.
Here are the reasons why?
Imagine the possibilities for you Consultant, Coach or Speaker to engage to your audience in a way that was not possible a few years ago. You now have the ability to produce content that can connect with people on a direct level. You are not only grabbing your audience attention. You are grabbing their full attention by giving them a 15-second, full screen message via video or an image. Think about it.
I strongly believe that consulting is at the verge of a major disruptions. Snapchat and other Internet platforms are the foundational infrastructure that will allow us (consultants) a new way to provide our services. Clients are expecting a transparent, simple and human consulting service. I believe we are getting really close to have all the elements to disrupt the industry.
To give you guys a more in-depth analysis of my prediction. I’m going to provide free technology consulting services over Snapchat. I’ll select a topic every day and Snap about it. As a bonus, you will also get Snaps and Stories from my daily routines, habits, personal and professional journeys.
Help me run this experiment. You just need to add me to your Snapchat, ask something that you would like to know about technology or related to the topic of the day. I guarantee you a personalized and content rich response.
You can use the Snapcode at the Top of the article or the one below. See you on Snapchat!
Each one of us needs power to feel better, perform better and be better. We all have a very complex relationship with power. Before we get into that debate, lets just hold our definition of power for a second and just discuss the two types of power described by Amy Cuddy in her book Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges. Amy describes the two types of power as social and personal.
Social Power is typically the type of power that you find outside with other people. This can come in the form of hierarchy, influence, and many other forms. There are two issues with social power: There are limited amounts of it available but second and most importantly, you get this power at the expense of others, most of the time at diminishing others.
Personal Power, in contrast, is the type of power that comes from within. It is based on your values, mindset, skills, attributes, spirit. It is basically endless. And that is the beauty of it. You can access this power source at any given time and use as much as you want or need. There are no limit or restriction for this one.
As I was reading this chapter, I couldn’t contain myself to stop and reflect about this. There have been so many times that I’ve been trying to access the wrong type of power and by trying to do so I have exhausted myself (due to the low amount available) and also hurt others in the process of getting it. It really hit me how we are constantly playing this social power game. We end up hurting great human beings, people we love and care about. All just for a couple of drops of social power. This can also be an unintentional action. I wonder how many times have I obtained social power without thinking of who did I hurt or diminished. Yeez, this is not cool.
Amy also mentioned another concept that makes sense: If we focus our energy in acquiring personal power, you will acquire social power as a by-product. And you can get it in a harmless way to you and others. It is not by diminishing others, it is given by others. Powerful stuff cooking in here.
The source content of this analysis comes from Chapter 5 of the book Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy
Reading has been part of my life since I was a little kid. I can still remember one of my first books, a children’s version of Star Wars: A New Hope. I honestly don’t know who gave it to me, but it was a trip of a life time. I have to admit that I read the book before watching the movie, and that feeling stayed with me until today. And by feeling I mean two things: the love to read and the habit of always reading the book first before watching the movie. Two interesting facts about the latter feeling, I’ve broke the rule more than one time but I tried to live it as much as I can. Second fact, and I know some of you are going to kill me for this, I haven’t seen any of the Lord of The Rings movies, until I finish all the books. I know, I know. I’m missing a masterpiece. However, I would like to honor Tolkien’s writings. I just feel I have to.
Anyways, back to reading.
Reading came to me easy in middle school and high school. I considered myself a book worm and felt good about it. I was in a happy place borrowing and buying books like an animal. I felt that I was in total control of my information intake and I was the Jedi master of it, until the second biggest event in my reading life happened: the Internet.
Holly Shit! I got the same feeling as when you get inside a cold pure waterfall: a great deal of excitement but at the same time a complete shutdown of my senses. Literally, too much information everywhere (feels like a Buzz Light Gear meme should be here). But I still loved books and as you know the Internet has everything for everyone, so I found two amazing websites: Computer Literacy Books (CLBooks which later became FatBrain and later acquired by B&N) and the now behemoth Amazon.com. The insanity continued. Are you telling me I can ordered any book I want and these guys will deliver it to my front door. Awesome! I was living in Guatemala at the time and even with the international shipping charges, it was still a dream come true.
In university (Studying Computer Science), I was able, not only to order the books that were part of my syllabus, but even books from the same courses from the elite universities in the world. I focused my reading on completing my undergrad and post graduate. I learn tons.
I started working one year before finishing my undergrad, and I think that is when the shit hit the fan. I was feeling overwhelmed with the amount of information available, the one that I wanted to consume, and the one that I was capable of consuming. And that is when I started going downhill.
I started focusing more on the quantity of the content I was reading than the actual quality. As such, I reached out to one of the most dangerous drivers in our current society: INSTANT GRATIFICATION
I wanted to read faster, better, effectively and NOW. That was my biggest mistake. I starting buying books on how to read faster. Books that offer the alternative to read 10 books in a day or something as crazy as that. By the way, I know what you are thinking. What kind of idiot buys a book that he needs to read to fix his lack of reading problem? Yep, that was me. It is obvious now that I reflect on it but at the moment it felt like the right thing to do. Besides I kept telling myself that reading was my thing.
I tried to read books, took courses and gave my fare share of salary to the instant gratification market with the expected real results. No improvement at all. Not only I was not reading effectively, now I felt like an idiot after falling to all those “As seen in TV” look a like products.
In the meantime, the fire hose of information kept smashing my brain every minute. Emails, websites, blogs, books, ebooks, Free PDFs all over the Internet. I was going insane.
At this point, I was reading but consuming nothing. I bought books and read only one or two chapters, skim through email and magazines but nothing was sinking. I realized that I needed to change my attitude and habits towards reading and that whatever success I had in the past consuming information it will never take me to the future state that I wanted to be or will serve me better. So here is where the transformation starts.
I truly believe that we all have an attitude or a personality towards reading. Mine was that reading was meant to happen in the perfect setting/ambient, with a calm and open mind full of white space to fill. And my habits, they were just driven by instant gratification as I mentioned before.
One more thing about personality. For some reason I thought that I needed to know everything about anything. And if you add the fact that the information was available, I was procrastinating my reading.
I needed to change my approach on how to read effectively. And the good news is. I did. One caveat though. There is no easy way out of this. No instant gratification, no bullshit. I will share with you the things that have worked for me towards becoming a better reader and be more self-aware of my reader personality.
1.-Read every single day!
Yeah! that’s it. However, you have to create a framework to make it work for you. This is not saying that you should read for the sake of reading. What is saying is that you should allocate a specific amount of time for reading purposes only. Believe it or not, this can be as simple as 5 minutes per day (measure it with your smartphone) or one page per day. The important thing is to kick start reading as an activity in your schedule.
As ridiculous as it sounds, commit to it. Put the 5 minute block in your schedule. It means 5 uninterrupted reading exclusive minutes. You can read a book or half a book a year, which is better than no books a year.
This is the tricky part and it is directly correlated with principle number one. You need to be present and focused on one thing only: reading. That is the reason why committing to 5 minutes is not much of a crazy idea. Put your smartphone on Airplane mode, block all distractions and just read.
Please keep the following in consideration while you read this:
Don’t think of these tips and techniques as the cookie cutter solution to your reading challenges. My invitation is to take a look a these tips and inject your own DNA to each one of them. My suggestion is to try one at a time. If it doesn’t work, change it bit by bit until it feels yours. That is the secret sauce (first tip). If it doesn’t work for more than a week, throw it out of your life and look for the next. If you already feel comfortable with one technique and also found another interesting, start combining them and do the same exercise
But enough preamble,let’s dig into it. I categorized the tips and techniques so you can easily get what you need more effectively.
Book Summaries — People ask me what are my thoughts about book summaries. My answer is very plain and simple:
A summary will never communicate the essence of the book and/or the author’s main message
Call me a purist, but I feel the same way about trailer movies or magazine covers. You learn enough but not all of it.
Book summaries can help you get away from conversations where you are the only person in the conversation who haven’t read the book and you are concern that people might think of you as an illiterate or ignorant. Personally, I don’t care about that. In fact, I use it as a conversation starter to nurture my network. If I haven’t ready the book, ask for reviews and points of view. Book summaries can also be helpful regarding my previous tip about “Context for Content” gathering more information about the book and the author.
So, here you have them. I hope this really adds value to your Reading Self in some way or the other. If you have any other tip or technique, please feel free to include it in the content.